Confectionery-free tills rolled-out


Published: Thursday 1st January 2015 by The News Editor

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Tesco has removed sweets and chocolate from all of its checkouts to reduce pester power and help families choose healthier food.

The supermarket removed confectionery from larger stores 20 years ago but the changes that take effect today will apply to all stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland including around 2,000 smaller Metro and Express outlets.

A spokesman said confectionery would also be removed from areas adjacent to the tills – for example, racks of sweets at children’s eye level next to checkout queues.

It follows research based on Tesco Club Card data that found families with young children have, on average, the least healthy shopping baskets, while pensioners and older adults are the healthiest shoppers.

An earlier study by the grocer found nearly two-thirds (65%) of customers said removing confectionery from checkouts would help them make healthier choices.

Just over two-thirds of parents (67%) said confectionery-free checkouts would help them make healthier choices for their children.

Tesco’s managing director of health and wellness, David Wood, said: “Our customers told us that removing sweets and chocolates from checkouts would help them make healthier choices, so from today our checkouts will be sweet and chocolate-free zones.

“We hope this will make our customer’s lives easier, as taking sweets and chocolates off the checkouts will really help parents with young children.

“As a parent of two young children myself, I know how challenging it can be to navigate the checkouts with children in tow.

“The response we’ve had from parents has been overwhelmingly positive, so it’ll be interesting to see if other supermarkets follow our lead and do the same thing.”

The retailer said it had replaced the confectionery with healthier snacks including dried fruit, nuts and cereal bars, and every food item on the checkout would be one of the “five a day”, have no red traffic light ratings, be in calorie-controlled snack packs or be deemed by the Department of Health to be a “healthier snack”.

Justine Roberts, the chief executive of parenting website Mumsnet, said: “Popping into a shop with a small child in tow can sometimes feel like navigating an assault course.

“If you’ve made it to the checkout in one piece it can be really frustrating to then be faced with an unhealthy array of sweets designed to tempt your child.

“It’s really positive to see a supermarket responding to the views of their customers and trying to make life that little bit easier.”

Public health minister Jane Ellison said: “This is a very welcome move by Tesco, responding to the clear demands of their customers, and raising the bar in the roll out of healthy checkouts.

“This initiative will help people make healthier choices, which all contributes to reducing the long-term cost to our nation of obesity and ill-health.”

Published: Thursday 1st January 2015 by The News Editor

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